Project Description

Date: June 27th, 2018

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About Nathaniel Coleman

Nathaniel Coleman is a 21-year-old U.S. climber who has won the past 3 Bouldering Nationals. He also took 1st place in all 4 of the National Cup series competitions in the 2017-18 season. He is a bone crusher. He’s also really fun to watch climb because he’s tenacious, powerful, and seems to have a positive attitude.

I sat down and talked with him about how he prepares for competitions, his mental game, and what is plans are for his climbing future.

Nathaniel Coleman Interview Details

  • How the crowd affects his climbing performance
  • The key to his success in the National Cup Series comps
  • How he prepared for new comp format
  • How to let go of failures so you can move on in a comp
  • His Olympic dreams and how he’s preparing
  • What he does in the gym to train every week

Nathaniel Coleman Links 

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Photo Credit

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Neely Quinn: Welcome to the TrainingBeta podcast where I talk with climbers and trainers about how we can get a little better at our favorite sport. I’m your host, Neely Quinn, and before I get into this interview today I want to remind you that the TrainingBeta podcast is actually an offshoot of the website, which I also run.

Over on that website we have a ton of resources all about training for climbing. There’s a blog that gets updated a few times a week at least, all about new, exciting information on training for climbing. We also have videos all about how to do certain exercises to put into your training program and we put those videos into the training programs that we’ve created for the site.

We have subscription programs for boulderers and for route climbers. If you were to subscribe – and it’s only $15 a month – you would get three workouts every week and we would take you through six-week cycles of power endurance and power and strength and everything you need to be either a better boulderer or a better route climber.

We also have programs in there from Steve Bechtel, from Jared Vagy, from Acacia Young, Kris Hampton – there’s a ton of stuff in there if you want instructions on what to do for your own training.

You can find those at and at the top there’s a tab called ‘Training Programs’ and you’ll find everything in there.

Alright, moving along, getting to this interview today. I’m extremely excited about this interview. I got to talk with Nathaniel Coleman who is an extraordinarily strong boulderer. He’s also a good route climber, let’s not take anything away from him, but his specialty is definitely competition bouldering. He has won Bouldering Nationals for the US three years in a row. He also won all four of the National Cup Series comps for USAC this year, which is incredible. He got first place in all four of them. He is training to go to the Olympics.

I remember last year I was a commentator at Nationals for bouldering and I watched him flash all four of the finals problems. He just went out there and destroyed all of the problems, which nobody even came close to doing. It was inspiring, it was thrilling, and it made me super psyched to be a climber. Everybody was so excited for him and I think that that’s what Nathanial brings to the climbing community, this ultimate psych for climbing and positivity.

I wanted to talk to him about how he stays so positive so we talked a lot about his mental game and we talked about his training and his goals and how he’s preparing to try to get into the Olympics. I really enjoyed this interview. I really hope you do and I’ll talk to you on the other side. Here’s Nathaniel.

Neely Quinn: Welcome to the show, Nathaniel. Thank you very much for being with me today.

Nathaniel Coleman: Thanks for having me, Neely.

Neely Quinn: So, I don’t know if there are people out there who don’t know who you are at this point but if there are, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah. I have been climbing for 11 years and competing for most of that time. My biggest successes are I’ve taken second in two World Cups and I’ve won the Bouldering National Championship for the last three years. My main claim to fame is all the competition experience that I have as well as some outdoor bouldering first ascents and achievements as well.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, you’re definitely really well known for your competition climbing and I would love to talk to you more about that. You seem to have a really positive attitude about it and I’m sure that has helped you to win so many times, but tell me first what drew you to comp climbing.

Nathaniel Coleman: Well, it was kind of just the path I was set on. Joining a youth team immediately after I started climbing was kind of just the thing that you did and the thing that you trained for. I think that some youth teams may be focused more on outdoor climbing and just kind of making it a lifestyle but ours kind of chose to go in the direction of competition, for one reason or another, and after my first competition I kind of tasted some success and I’ve got to admit that I liked it. I just continued down that path and kind of found more success and never looked back.

Actually, that’s not true. When I was maybe 11 or 12 I really wanted to quit climbing, just because none of my friends at school did it and I felt like I had no time to share between the two groups or the two worlds of climbing and my social life. I was kind of torn between the two but my coach, or my mentor at the time, Jeff Patterson, told me that I had talent and that someday I might regret if I didn’t maximize the potential I had in climbing. I really just wanted to give him a shoutout.

Neely Quinn: Yeah. How long had you been climbing by the time you were 11 or 12?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, I’d been climbing for two or three years.

Neely Quinn: Okay, so you saw success very early.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah. In fact, at my first competition I was in Youth D and it was just a local competition in Colorado. I won the category. I think there were maybe two other kids in my category but aside from that, I had climbed really well throughout the whole competition. Back then, if you were in Youth D you were allowed to use any feet so I was kind of using that to my advantage and climbing a bunch of boulders that people older than me weren’t able to do. It was because I had the feet options.

Neely Quinn: Yeah. So give me some stats on you. How old are you now?

Nathaniel Coleman: I’m 21.

Neely Quinn: Okay, and how tall are you?

Nathaniel Coleman: Just a quarter inch shy of six feet. It’s what I tell everybody.

Neely Quinn: Six feet. [laughs] Were you a little kid climber or were you always sort of taller?

Nathaniel Coleman: I was always taller. I actually have a big advantage being born January 1st, which is one day after the birthday cutoff for USA Climbing youth categories. I was always the oldest or at least the middle of the pack as I was going through the youth.

Neely Quinn: What do you think about that? That’s a common thing in hockey – I’ve heard of it being in – and probably soccer. Do you think that’s an unfair advantage?

Nathaniel Coleman: I would have to say so, yeah. I don’t see any way around it. That being said I don’t see any way around there being an unfair advantage one way or the other, you know?

Neely Quinn: You’ve got to have a cutoff.

So when you had that first taste of success when you whatever, 9 or 10 years old, can you tell me what that felt like? You said that really peaked your interest and kept you going.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah. There was a moment – this was in another one of my earlier competitions – when I was sport climbing, trying a route that, from the ground, I believed wasn’t possible for me. I just wanted to try it and test myself. The higher I got the more people started to pay attention and the more people cheered me on. The higher I got the louder it got. I remember I was just fighting with everything I had and I freakin’ topped the route and I looked down and everybody in the competition was in a big circle right underneath me looking up at me. I just thought, ‘Oh my gosh. This is the best feeling in the world. All of these people are supporting me and they love that I just found this success.’ It made my day.

I still remember that day. I was probably 10 years old or something.

Neely Quinn: And that’s why I love comps. I think that’s why all of us love comps. People just celebrate each other. It’s blissful, almost, [laughs] watching and I’m sure being the winner or the person who is succeeding.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, for sure. Most people, I think, enjoy the crowd and enjoy the love that they get from that, although I have talked to people who climb for different reasons. They climb more for themselves than for that feeling of encouragement. It is a great atmosphere where everybody is cheering each other on and you don’t really feel a sense of rivalry.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, that’s kind of a big deal. There’s a really positive vibe.

Nathaniel Coleman: I think it’s rare in competitive sports.

Neely Quinn: Yeah. I mean, where else would you see that? You don’t see it in gymmastics or basketball. It’s all rivalry.

Nathaniel Coleman: Right.

Neely Quinn: I guess I wonder if that makes it more difficult for you to climb outside because I’m assuming that the crowd cheering you on really motivates you and makes you try harder, like you were saying. Do you have that motivation outside when there’s not a crowd?

Nathaniel Coleman: Certainly not the same kind of motivation, however there is a different feeling of happiness and of excitement and try-hard that I find outdoors. It comes from the completely opposite side of the spectrum.

In fall of 2017 I was able to join some of my friends in developing a new zone close to my house. It was in the San Rafael Swell, maybe a three hour drive from Salt Lake City. We were just out there putting up boulders in a really popular trad climbing area. It was really easy access, we were finding all these boulders that were maybe a little bit chossy but we didn’t care and we were just out there having a good time.

That was the first – that was probably the most that I’ve enjoyed outdoor climbing. Finding something that has been waiting there all this time with no information about it, it’s like you find a gem and you wonder if it’s climbable. You try to scope out some holds. The whole thing is shrouded in mystery and it’s your job to solve this problem. The first challenge is figuring out how to do it and the second challenge is figuring out if you can do it. When you are able to do it it’s just a completely different feeling from the excitement of the crowd but it’s something much more internal that is satisfying in that process. It’s funny.

Neely Quinn: You guys made a video about that, right?

Nathaniel Coleman: That’s right. It’s called ‘The Power of the Psych.’

Neely Quinn: And you did a pretty hard first ascent there, right?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, I did a V14 that I also named The Power of the Psych. This title comes from one of my coaches and later mentors, Kyle Omeara, who always tells me, “You’ve got the power and the psych in the competitions, Nathaniel. That’s what gets you up. You get so excited and so happy to be there it gives you another power.”

Neely Quinn: What do you think about that?

Nathaniel Coleman: I think it’s totally true. I think that your emotions have a big influence on where your mental state is in competition and that obviously has massive repercussions on how you perform physically.

Neely Quinn: Can you give me an example of that? I mean, you have plenty of examples here like all of the Bouldering Nationals that you did, you won first place in the four National Cups, right? This year/this past year?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, that’s correct.

Neely Quinn: That’s incredible, first of all. It’s very noteworthy that you did that so I want to know what when on in your mind in those comps. Was there just not really decent competition for you there or how did you do that?

Nathaniel Coleman: [laughs] There was very, very worthy competition at all of those National Cups and I think anyone of us could have won on any given day. I think I just – well, so I think the most important thing for me during that National Cup series was that I was not expecting, at all, to win every single one. In fact, I was hoping that I would win just a single one of them because in the previous year, my National Cup series did not go so well. I didn’t win a single one of them. In fact, I didn’t even make a finals in a few of them. It was pretty humbling.

I think the biggest change that I made from 2016 to 2017 finding that success in the National Cups was being prepared for the change in format of finals. It was run unlike a National Championship final where everybody cycles through and tries the first boulder and then everybody cycles through and tries the second boulder.

Neely Quinn: Oh, so you have more rest.

Nathaniel Coleman: You have way more rest like that, yeah, and in the National Cup series you try the first boulder for five minutes and then you try the second boulder and rest for five minutes and so on. That’s a lot harder, first, on your physical body and then on your ability to recover mentally. If you failed on a problem before you’ve got to get out of that negative mind state and just get into a new or refreshed mindset for the next boulder.

I think that that was a big help. I was prepared for the new format and I think another big help was that I wasn’t looking to win them all. I won the first one and I was like, ‘Oh, sick!’ you know? ‘I’m already satisfied with my National Cup season,’ and throughout the rest of the National Cups I just continued to tell myself, “Okay. I’m happy with how I’ve done. I could not even make finals in the next one and I would be okay with it.” I think it’s that approach, almost from an underdog perspective, even though obviously you can’t always be the underdog. I think it’s a very advantageous mental approach to have for competition.

Neely Quinn: Having low expectations?

Nathaniel Coleman: Exactly.

Neely Quinn: Can you tell me how you prepared for that format?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah. There was a bit of a difference in my training. Obviously I would do more fitness-based things in the bouldering room. I would do 4×4’s, which are much more taxing, with very little rest in between each workout. I would do just maybe as many V10 and up boulders in the gym as I could do in one session and just kind of limit my rest in between each one to make sure I was a little bit fatigued when I jumped on the next boulder.

Yeah, I think that’s the biggest difference I made in my training.

Neely Quinn: Did you do mock comps where you would give yourself 5 minutes on/5 minutes off?

Nathaniel Coleman: No, but that is a good idea. [laughs] I think that I was already familiar enough with the format, I just needed to adjust to something that I had already known in the past.

Neely Quinn: Did you have to change your mindset at all? Like, if you did have a bad five minutes on, what would you do in the five minutes off to try to make that go away?

Nathaniel Coleman: That is maybe the most difficult question I’ve been dealing with lately. How do you reset your mind and how do you let go of your failures on the last boulder and just approach the next one? I’ve experimented with a couple things. I’ve tried telling myself, “Okay, whether I’m waiting for the first boulder or the last boulder,” I tell myself, “this next boulder ahead of me is the only boulder in the competition. It’s the only thing I have to deal with so deal with it.”

That worked okay. I think that that clears out the negative thoughts that are going through your conscious mind pretty efficiently but I kind of learned something new at a World Cup recently in Switzerland. Oh sorry – in Vail. I had made it to semifinals and I had done really well in qualifications. I had placed within the top three of the field so I was like, “Oh my gosh. Maybe this is my time to make it into finals again in a World Cup.” I think I was in a really positive mindset approaching the first semifinal boulder and then I didn’t do it. The guy right after me did it and I tried to let it go. I tried to think, ‘Okay, the next boulder is all you have, man.’ I didn’t do that one, either.

I think that the failures kind of start to add up in your subconscious mind and in your emotions as well. Either you have the power of the psych and the momentum just builds with every success that you have but you have to get that momentum started early enough. You have to get it started earlier than the negative emotion momentum that may come as an opposite effect.

Neely Quinn: How do you do that? Did you do it?

Nathaniel Coleman: No, no. I think that if I would have done it successfully I might have been able to top the third and fourth boulder but I wasn’t able to do it. I was tired and I started just thinking, ‘Oh, I just want to be done with this round. I already know I’m not making it into finals.’ In that case I definitely failed and my mental approach failed me.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, that’s rough. I mean, what do you do? Have you ever talked to other comp climbers about that? What do they say? What do they think you could do?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, one of my favorite people to talk to about this kind of thing is Sean Bailey, who has been competing for longer than I have and he’s had a lot of experience in the World Cups and I can tell he thinks a lot about the same kind of things that I do when it comes to competition and when it comes to performing.

Just recently, in a competition last week, we were talking afterwards and he said, “I’ve been trying this new thing. It’s distinguishing the difference between concentration and focus.” I thought, ‘Well, they both sound the exact same to me, Sean. What are you talking about?’ He said, “When I feel like I’m concentrating on a boulder I feel like I have the whole game plan in my head. I’m thinking about the whole boulder. I’m thinking about the top moves. I’m not really present.” He finds that he climbs worse when he’s concentrating on doing well but when he’s focused, I suppose it’s something just a little different. When he’s focused he’s not thinking about the beta or what he’s supposed to be doing. He’s just focused on every movement and with that, kind of keeping a clear mind that’s open to change and open to what your body is maybe suggesting you do or how your balance is changing as you move from one hold to the next.

Neely Quinn: So staying really present.

Nathaniel Coleman: I think presence of mind is something very, very important when in competition but it’s easier to do when you’re on the wall, right? When you’re sitting in the chair waiting for your next boulder it’s very difficult to be present because your mind can’t focus on anything but the thing you just experienced. I don’t know if I have the answer yet, honestly. I’m still trying to find it.

Neely Quinn: Well, you’ve got plenty of time. You’re still a young competitor.

Nathaniel Coleman: That is true. It’s what I tell myself.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, and another thing I heard you tell yourself in that video was something like, ‘I know I’m a strong climber and I know I can do this.’ Do you remember that?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, I do.

Neely Quinn: It seems like – I once heard or read this paper on what makes really good athletes really good athletes. One of the things is that they’re really good at lying to themselves. Like, they’re really good at saying, “Yeah, I can do that,” even if it’s impossible or never been done before. I wonder if we should all be sitting there like, ‘Yeah, I can do this. I got this. This shit’s easy.’ But I don’t know.

Nathaniel Coleman: Maybe, but then you get on the wall and you’re like, ‘Oh, this is not easy. I was expecting it to be easy.’ [laughs]

Neely Quinn: That’s true.

Nathaniel Coleman: That sounds like an interesting paper. I would love it if you could send it to me after this.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, maybe I can try to dig that up. If I can I’ll put it in the notes of the show, too.

Nathaniel Coleman: Cool. So yeah, I lie to myself sometimes. Maybe not lie to myself but I tell myself that I am a competent climber and I know that I’m training for the rest of my life and not just this competition. This mindset kind of holds me over after I don’t do very well in a competition. It keeps me from falling into a downward spiral through my training and through the long, long time periods between competition. I tell myself that not every competition can go your way. I’ll bounce back on the next one or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll bounce back on the fifth one from now but regardless, I will be training and I will be getting better and I will bounce back because I know I’m capable of being among the top competitors in the nation and hopefully in the world.

This is something that I truly believe so I don’t feel like I need to lie to myself so maybe it’s not so helpful for somebody who can’t really believe this. I think that it does give you a little bit of self-empowerment and maybe it will help you be what you want to be. There’s the famous saying, “Whether you believe you can or can’t, you’re correct,” but sitting between climbs in a competition, it’s hard to wrap my mind around this, that I’m a good climber and I can bounce back because it seems to me a round of competition will follow a theme. You either climb well or you climb poorly. It’s very rare that you go from poor climbing to good climbing, although it does happen, and it’s even rarer that you go from good climbing to bad climbing.

Neely Quinn: Right. Well, that’s kind of what happened to you in the 2017 Bouldering Nationals when I was commentating. We saw you have a bad semifinals round. Not bad, but you know, and then just flash all the boulders in finals.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah.

Neely Quinn: So it did happen. I mean, it wasn’t the same round but you must have told yourself something. What did you tell yourself?

Nathaniel Coleman: Well, that was a perfect example of low expectations meeting unexpected success. My finger was injured at the time so I was overjoyed to make it into finals. I had thought that I didn’t make it into finals so when I heard that I was in I was just psyched. I was like, ‘This is more than I ever could have hoped for, being in the state that I’m in, but I’m not going to do very well in finals.’ It’s so funny. Sometimes I tell myself, ‘Oh, you can do it,’ and it works and sometimes I tell myself, ‘Oh, you can’t do this. You have no chance, Nathaniel,’ and then that has the opposite effect. It’s all confusing.

Neely Quinn: So it all works for you [laughs] is basically what you’re saying.

Nathaniel Coleman: There must be some missing piece that I’m not seeing. Something beyond what you tell yourself consciously.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, for sure. So it seems like something is working for you and you do seem like you have an overwhelmingly or a majority positive attitude towards climbing, right? So would you say that this carries over into the rest of your life? Are you a pretty positive guy in life?

Nathaniel Coleman: Certainly not as positive as I am when I’m competing. I think being in that high energy environment and being around my friends and climbing to the best of my ability truly brings out the best in me. It’s almost like another person, honestly. When I’m training or when I’m lounging about between training days it’s much harder to be that naiively positive, you know?

I think that – kind of being introspective here – I think that that’s a bit to do with my age and kind of the changes that you experience at this age. You start to read more about the world, you start to see things that you think are wrong and you don’t really feel like you can do much about them. It’s kind of been hard trying to deal with this, these new things that I’m learning, and stay positive in climbing. I think that your lifestyle carries into how you climb so if you’re stressed out a lot of the time it carries into the rest of your life. I’m kind of finding that I can’t stay as positive in competition as I used to be and I think that that’s maybe because of the rest of my life going on right now.

Neely Quinn: You have a little disillusionment happening?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, yeah. Just classic 21-year old disillusion.

Neely Quinn: What is going on in your life? You are basically a pro climber, full time now, right?

Nathaniel Coleman: That’s correct.

Neely Quinn: Okay. Did you go to college?

Nathaniel Coleman: I did for two semesters. I went to the University of Utah. I was planning on studying computer science and essentially I just wasn’t doing well enough to justify going to school at that time so I told myself I’ll pursue climbing for now and maybe later in my life I’ll have a better drive, a better discipline, to go to school and do well.

Neely Quinn: That’s realistic.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah. A lot of people have told me I’ve made the right decision but some people have told me I should just get a degree anyway. I think I feel good about it.

Neely Quinn: How long have you been doing just full time climbing?

Nathaniel Coleman: I think I’ve been out of college for two years, maybe a little longer?

Neely Quinn: Right, and in that time you’ve won two Bouldering Nationals, four National Cups, you’ve done really well in Sport Nationals – I mean, obviously it’s paying off, right?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, well thank you. I think it is paying off in my performance but I always feel like it’s maybe not paying off so much in my professional career. This is maybe a bit due to just the way that professional climbers make money nowadays. Sometimes it’s based less on your accomplishments and more on your business strategy. A lot of times I feel like I’m not making the best business decisions, you know? I don’t know a lot about marketing myself. I’ve had help from friends before and that’s kind of pushed my career to the next level.

I’d like to give a shout out to Katie Hetrick who helped me after I won – sorry, didn’t win but after I took second in my first World Cup. She kind of helped me negotiate with companies and gave me the deals I could get. That’s been the foundation of my financial support from then until now, two years later.

So anyway, it’s a tough game being a professional climber.

Neely Quinn: It seems like every pro climber needs an agent just like actors and actresses.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, it’s kind of changing lately, I think.

Neely Quinn: Who are your sponsors? Who makes this life possible?

Nathaniel Coleman: First and foremost my clothing sponsor, prAna, and also my gear sponsor Petzl. My shoe sponsor is Five Ten and then I work with FrictionLabs and Gnarly Nutrition and they provide me with chalk and nutrition supplements, respectively.

Neely Quinn: That’s quite a line-up.

Nathaniel Coleman: Right? Sometimes I’m like, ‘Oh sweet! I have five sponsors, you know? I’m really doing this thing,’ and then other times it’s like, ‘Well, I could be doing so much more, you know?’

Neely Quinn: As a computer scientist or as a pro climber?

Nathaniel Coleman: As a pro climber.

Neely Quinn: Well, you’re young. You’ve only been doing it two years.

Nathaniel Coleman: That’s right.

Neely Quinn: Do you think that you’ll do more outdoor climbing and that will be a bigger part of who you are and who you’re known as? Or do you plan to continue having comp climbing as the major focus?

Nathaniel Coleman: Um…for the foreseeable future I’m certainly going to stick to comp climbing. A big goal of mine is to qualify for the Olympics so I think I’m going to be focusing as much on that as I can until 2020 so I kind of have one big last outdoor climbing trip coming up and that’s to Rocklands with a few of my buddies. We’re going for six weeks and it’ll be, you could say, my last hurrah in outdoor climbing before I focus solely on competition and the Olympics.

After that, I don’t know. I don’t know where I’ll be. Maybe I’ll be sick of training all the time and competition and the stress and everything and take it more outdoors or maybe I’ll just be that much more motivated to make it to the next Olympics and start my next four-year training plan.

Neely Quinn: Right, yeah.

Nathaniel Coleman: I think that there is a time when everybody finishes competition climbing but they still have a lot of potential in outdoor climbing left. I’ve gotta say I am looking forward to that time. I want to explore everything that outdoor climbing can provide in all its different disciplines.

Neely Quinn: Sport climbing? Trad climbing?

Nathaniel Coleman: Ice climbing, mixed climbing, maybe even alpinism? I don’t know. I’m not very good at suffering so maybe not.

Neely Quinn: [laughs] Why do you want to go to the Olympics?

Nathaniel Coleman: Well, I think that it’s the greatest achievement for athletics that exists. To say that I am one of the best in the world and I am good enough to represent my entire country on this world stage seems to be just an honor above all honors. That’s what motivates me.

Neely Quinn: When we all first learned about the Olympic format for climbing there was a lot of outcry, like this is like asking a sprinter to also do a marathon. What do you think about that and how do you feel about speed climbing and sport climbing? Do you feel like that’s a fair measure of you as a climber since you have such a specialty in bouldering?

Nathaniel Coleman: Certainly not. It’s certainly not the best way to decide: who is the best climber in the world? I think that if it would have been a mixture of bouldering and sport climbing, I probably would have been really supportive of that because I think that both focus on such an important aspect of climbing as an entire sport and an entire concept that bouldering and sport climbing should both be tested.

Speed climbing, to me, seems like its own branch. It seems kind of in an outlier category of the whole concept of climbing so that’s my main problem with speed climbing being in the Olympic format, however, I think that speed climbing being in the Olympics will benefit me, actually, because I’m a powerful climber and I have, I think, a better advantage in speed climbing than maybe other World Cup climbers do. It may end up being my greatest help in qualifying towards the Olympics.

Neely Quinn: So you competed this year and got 13th, right?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, in Nationals.

Neely Quinn: I mean, that’s not bad. Do you think – how likely is it that the best climber in the world, at the Olympics, is actually going to take first or second in bouldering, first or second in routes, and first or second in speed? It seems like it’s going to be very unlikely.

Nathaniel Coleman: I think it will be very unlikely as well. We could perhaps see somebody take podium in bouldering and sport climbing. To do that in speed climbing as well would take more than just natural climbing ability. It would also take a lot of training towards speed climbing and maybe a little bit of luck, just based on how the speed climbing format may or may not be.

Neely Quinn: Right, and I’m assuming you’ve been training a little bit of speed?

Nathaniel Coleman: Oh yeah.

Neely Quinn: Can we talk about your long term plan for your training? Do you have a trainer, actually?

Nathaniel Coleman: No, I’m just kind of working by my past knowledge.

Neely Quinn: Okay, so do you have a long term layout of what you’re going to do for the next couple of years?

Nathaniel Coleman: No, I don’t. I’m just kind of training as I have for the past however many years. I’m training by the season. Every six months or year or so just trying to progress a little bit in my overall climbing. I know that generally I want to focus more on speed climbing and more on sport climbing as we get closer to qualifying events for the Olympics but that’s about as specific as my plan goes.

Neely Quinn: Do you know what the qualifying events for the Olympics are going to be?

Nathaniel Coleman: I know a few of them.

Neely Quinn: Are they World Cups?

Nathaniel Coleman: They will be international competitions. I think the first one will be the 2019 World Championships and maybe the top three overall in each gender or maybe it’s top six will get invites to the Olympics.

Neely Quinn: From each country? Or the top three overall total? Just three people?

Nathaniel Coleman: I think the top three overall total. This comes with a little asterisk. They have a limit on athletes that can compete from each country. I think there’s a limit to two males and two females per country qualifying for the Olympics with the exception of Japan. They get a few extra spots. If three Austrians sweep the podium in the overall for the men, only the first two will get invites, and then male qualification from Austria will be closed for the Olympics.

Neely Quinn: Woah. That’s very choosy.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, I don’t know. I guess it’s just the way they’re doing it. Another competition that will open up invites will be the North and South America’s Continental Championships. They will open up an invite to the top, only the winner of the overall in that competition.

Neely Quinn: Oh wow. So there’s different ways of doing it. It doesn’t have to be a World Championship.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, correct. I would imagine it would be World Championships, Continental Championships, or I think I’ve heard something about qualifying for some special competition that they will have as ‘invite only’ and the winner of that will also get invites. Maybe they’re just kind of testing out different ways to qualify people for the Olympics.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, it’s interesting. I’ve never heard any of this so it’s cool that it’s becoming known how you can qualify and how you should be training and when and everything. So you have like a year and a half before these competitions start happening?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, approximately. I’ve kind of been hearing about these competitions just by word of mouth. Obviously they’re getting their information from somewhere but I’ve looked into the most likely places I would think it would be found, which is IFSC’s website, maybe even USA Climbing’s website. I haven’t checked the – I don’t even know if there is an overall Olympics website. I’m sure there is but I haven’t checked there.

Neely Quinn: You know what? I’m going to try to do an interview with somebody who knows so then this will be common knowledge.

Nathaniel Coleman: That will be rad.

Neely Quinn: Somebody needs to.

Okay, I would love to get into some nitty-gritty about your training, if you don’t mind.

Nathaniel Coleman: I do not mind, however, don’t expect there to be a really precise training plan because that’s certainly not how I do it.

Neely Quinn: That’s okay. That’s not abnormal and even it it was it’s working for you so whatever. So you live in – you just told me two different places – Mill Creek or Salt Lake. Is Mill Creek in Salt Lake City?

Nathaniel Coleman: That’s correct.

Neely Quinn: Okay. That’s why you said that. Got it. So you live in Salt Lake and you grew up in Salt Lake.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah.

Neely Quinn: And you train there. Where do you train?

Nathaniel Coleman: I live like five minutes away from Momentum Mill Creek.

Neely Quinn: Cool.

Nathaniel Coleman: That’s mostly where I train. I also train sometimes at The Front Climbing Club and then on special days I’ll drive a little further and go to Momentum Sandy or Momentum Lehi, just to get new boulders.

Neely Quinn: How many days a week are you training?

Nathaniel Coleman: Four or five.

Neely Quinn: And how many days a week are you climbing outside?

Nathaniel Coleman: Right now, zero. I haven’t climbed outside since Rifle which was maybe two weeks ago. While I’m in Salt Lake I haven’t gone climbing in a while.

Neely Quinn: And that’s because you’re training for your trip to Rocklands?

Nathaniel Coleman: That’s correct, as well as kind of having a busy schedule with travel, any free weekends that I have while I’m in Salt Lake City I just spend doing other things.

Neely Quinn: When you go into the gym, tell me kind of what you do.

Nathaniel Coleman: Lately I’ve been focusing on bouldering sessions so I’ll warm-up, climb hard boulders in the bouldering room pretty much until I start to feel maybe 50% exhaustion and then I’ll transition into a training phase of my workout where I’ll do, just based on how I’m feeling, I might do circuits on a woody, like a 45° overhang. I’ll do 20-30 move circuits with pretty good rest in between just to work on overall fitness. If I’m not doing that I might do power workouts. I’ll try to make up hard boulders or hard individual moves and try these boulders or moves with a lot of rest in between.

There’s maybe three or four other workouts that I’ll occasionally do and I just kind of alternate between these workouts based on how I’m feeling that day.

Neely Quinn: Can you tell me what the other workouts are?

Nathaniel Coleman: I can try. [laughs] They’re not written down anywhere. They’re just based on concepts that I have about training for climbing and I kind of modify them based, again, on how I feel or whatever comes to my mind that day. There’s strength work, skills work, and mental work. Strength work is the category that the previous workouts I mentioned fall into.

Skills work would be something like heel hook or toe hook boulders. I would try to do a boulder with open feet and I try to implement a heel hook or a toe hook on every move. That kind of gets me using these kind of rarely used tools in more creative ways. I think that that helps a lot in World Cup and competition climbing. Another skills work thing would actually be campusing. That kind of blends the categories of strength work versus skills work. I think although it does get you very strong it also requires a lot of coordination and a lot of agility to campus accurately and on bad holds.

Neely Quinn: So you’re saying campusing on a campus board, or on boulders?

Nathaniel Coleman: Oh, on boulders specifically. I haven’t campused on a campus board in a long time. I think that it is certainly helpful for some people but for me, doing it on boulders just has so many more minute, climbing-specific benefits that a campus board just doesn’t have.

Neely Quinn: Right, like precision and agility and aim.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, and contact strength and variation in the muscles that you’re using on any given move.

Neely Quinn: Yeah. That’s cool.

So the heel hooking, toe hooking, campusing – anything else in the skills category?

Nathaniel Coleman: You know, sometimes kind of randomly I’ll be inspired. I’ll just see a dyno on the wall that I hadn’t seen before and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, that looks sick,’ and do that, although it’s hard for me to dedicate one specific workout to dyno work because they’re hard to find. It’s hard to find a good dyno that requires direction of hips and direction of shoulders as well as accuracy and coordination.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, that’s why they employ really good setters for comps, right?

Nathaniel Coleman: Exactly. Exactly.

Then, any other sort of coordination move. When I find them it’s kind of like finding a gem and I’ll do it and practice it and repeat it until I can do it really well.

Neely Quinn: Okay. So you’re not one to just do a move and call it good. You like to have it be good.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, more specifically on complicated movement. Sometimes I’ll take a video of a movement and kind of analyze the different pieces of that move that I think are most important and try to maybe try the move differently, even if it feels kind of awkward. Just change things. I’m thinking specifically of dynamic movement where it’s really important where your hips and where your hands are on the holds. So yeah, I’ll try different movements to see how they affect it if it feels really awkward.

Neely Quinn: Do you have people – well, two questions: do you have people who you climb with and train with who help you with this? Or is it just you doing all this and the video analysis?

Nathaniel Coleman: Mostly I train by myself and when I do train with other people, that’s when I have them record me or something. It certainly wouldn’t be hard recording myself doing a move, I just kind of find myself not bothering with it when I’m training alone for one reason or another. But yeah, we have a good crew of people out here in Salt Lake who are all strong and motivated and I kind of just see them at the gym and will happen to be training with them.

Neely Quinn: The second part to that question was: when did you stop having a coach, like as a youth?

Nathaniel Coleman: Well, my last year on the Momentum climbing team was – I probably would have been 19 so 2017? That was when I aged out. Then I transitioned and I was working with a coach that I had worked with when I was younger and he had started his own company. I worked with him for a little bit but I didn’t really feel like it was the thing for me so – that was maybe six months ago that I transitioned back into training by myself.

Neely Quinn: Okay, so you just feel confident and comfortable doing this on your own?

Nathaniel Coleman: Well, I will tell you that I plan to talk to another youth coach based out in Seattle. I think that you’ve actually interviewed him, or maybe it was another podcast. Anyway, Tyson Schoene who coaches Vertical World. I was hoping to ask him on some input for training but at the end of the day I don’t feel like I’m doing my training as well as I could, you know? I feel like I know a lot and I’ve done a lot of training in my past but just to put it all together, I’m going to need some help.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, sometimes it’s easier to have an objective view. I know that even as a nutritionist it’s really hard sometimes for me to see what I’m doing wrong with my diet.

Nathaniel Coleman: Oh, a nutritionist? Very cool.

Neely Quinn: It seems like the same kind of thing.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah.

Neely Quinn: But the other question I had was about Tyler Nelson. You sometimes see him, right?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah. I will see Tyler Nelson but mostly I will see Carrie Cooper for any physical therapy.

Neely Quinn: You got the finger injury but do you struggle with injuries much?

Nathaniel Coleman: No. I mostly struggle with minor things that could turn into injuries if ignored.

Neely Quinn: And then you do physical therapy and needling and massage and stuff?

Nathaniel Coleman: Exactly, yeah, and I think I’m pretty good at spotting these problems that could turn into bigger problems before they become major injuries.

Neely Quinn: Spotting them and then stopping training for at least the day?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah.

Neely Quinn: Okay, and then going back to your training. You said you have the circuits, the limit bouldering or the one-move kind of things, the strength training, the skills, and then there was mental stuff. Do you want to talk about that at all?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, I have less to say about the mental stuff because I haven’t found a good way to train the mental side of climbing while you’re in practice, you know? It’s just almost impossible to recreate the high stress environment of a competition that you kind of need to test out different mental training aspects, although I will test. Maybe one day I’ll go in with – probably my next climbing day I’ll go in with an intention of being focused and letting go of concentration, and that’s just based on a new concept that I heard from Sean Bailey.

Mental training? I don’t have much. Although I do consider it important in your training [laughs] I don’t know how you’re supposed to do it.

Neely Quinn: [laughs] Yeah. That’s a tough one. One thing that comes to mind is I remember interviewing Puccio, actually, and she was training with Justen Sjong and he was having her do the weirdest things and it was partly for mental training. He would have her do box jumps and jump rope or a couple things that she hated and then immediately after he would have her do hard boulders and she said that it trained her to just let it go, whatever it was in the past. That seems like a really aggressive way of training it.

Nathaniel Coleman: That’s awesome. I’m certainly going to try that out now.

Neely Quinn: [laughs] You’re just going to be up there punishing yourself on box jumps and jump roping.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yep.

Neely Quinn: In the last few minutes I would love to hear about – actually, not. I have two other questions about training. Do you ever fingerboard?

Nathaniel Coleman: No. I was doing a bit of it and I think I jumped into it too fast and I think it led to my finger injury so I steer clear of that since then.

There is one more thing that I wanted to add about my training. A lot of people tell me, “Nathaniel, you don’t train as much as the rest of us and somehow it works for you.” I think that honestly, that kind of is one my biggest tools that I’m using. I rest a lot, you know? I go in and have a hard session where I push my body and then I let it fully recuperate. I’m sure that people who know more about exercise sports science than I do could tell you that, “Yeah, that works sometimes but may be not the best thing to use all of the time.” It’s kind of the thing I’ve been using for the past year, probably two, and it’s been working okay.

Neely Quinn: I mean, you train four or five days a week. How many hours a day are you training?

Nathaniel Coleman: A typical session will be 2-3.5 hours and that’s just based on whether I have enough energy to push a training session that long.

Neely Quinn: And then you rest until you feel completely better?

Nathaniel Coleman: Well, maybe not completely better. I’ll typically go two or three days in a row of training and then I’ll take one or two rest days in a row until I feel like I’m ready to start another two or three day cycle of training in a row.

Neely Quinn: Okay. I don’t know how much your friends are training but that seems like plenty to me.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, certainly. I hear everybody talk about, ‘Oh man, I’m sixth day on.’ [laughs] That just seems crazy to me. I couldn’t. I mean, I don’t know. That seems like more than I would be able to handle.

Neely Quinn: Well, do you think that some of those people may not be listening to their bodies and maybe they get injured more often?

Nathaniel Coleman: I think that is maybe something that happens. There are also just some people out there who have trained their body to handle more training. I think the Japanese team is a good example. The Japanese team is incredibly dominant on the World Cup scene lately and I think it’s because they’ve been training their bodies to handle so much training that they can climb for five hours in a row for one session and then take a rest day and then do that again, like four days in a row. I’ve trained a little bit with them, as has Sean Bailey, and we’ve talked about it and their skin seems to recover superhumanly fast, their muscles recover, and they’re able to train for – they’ll warm-up for an hour and a half and then they’ll be trying hard boulders for another hour and a half. Then, they’ll be campusing for another hour. It’s just wild. I think that their bodies are just primed for that.

Neely Quinn: I mean, how? Do they have a team of physiotherapists or nutritionists or something like that that is always with them?

Nathaniel Coleman: Not that I know of. I know that they work with some people on mobility and coordination movement. I’m sure it helps that they are all very flexible. I think that they work on their mobility and their muscle suppleness a lot more than other people do/other countries do and I think that helps them. I also think it’s just part of their culture.

When you go to a gym in Japan you don’t pay a monthly membership, you pay a day pass and it’s usually around $20. If you go to the gym you make the most out of that $20 and people spend all day in the gym, just climbing for a little bit and then taking a long break, having something to eat, and then going back and climbing.

Neely Quinn: Woah. That’s a totally different mindset.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah.

Neely Quinn: Somebody needs to do a documentary on them.

Nathaniel Coleman: Maybe it’s you, Neely.

Neely Quinn: I can’t. Do you know any of them who speak English well enough to be on the podcast?

Nathaniel Coleman: I’ll think on that. I’ll get back to you on that.

Neely Quinn: Because that’s what I need. This is just fascinating. It’s really cool to hear your take on these things because, like you say, you go there, you’ve been with them, you’ve trained with them, you know what they do and how it compares to us. They have coaches and trainers, don’t they? And they train all together?

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah.

Neely Quinn: What do you think about that? How do you think that would benefit you, or not, to train with the American team?

Nathaniel Coleman: I think that would be the best single thing for the American team, to be able to train together consistently. I think it would push us to the next level. A lot of us have been talking about that recently. What if we could train together all the time like the Japanese team does? We’ve kind of been brainstorming some different ways that we could make that happen or that maybe USA Climbing could make that happen, but in my opinion that’s the most important/that would be the biggest benefit to the US team.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, I mean Black Diamond had three of their athletes train together, male and female, for a couple months at a time. It seems like that could definitely happen.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah. We’ll be doing our best.

Neely Quinn: That would be awesome.

Last thing, unless there’s anything else you want to add about your training.

Nathaniel Coleman: I want to add that I’ve been focusing more on nutrition with the help of Gnarly Nutrition. I’ve kind of gotten to know the people who run the company and specifically the product designer for Gnarly Nutrition, Shannon O’Grady. She just seems to me to be a mad scientist. She knows so much about health and nutrition and she’s kind of helping me get on a new eating plan which is something I’ve never focused on in the past.

Neely Quinn: Nice. That’s what I was going to ask you about, your nutrition, so yeah – can you tell me about that?

Nathaniel Coleman: Oh, perfect. We’re starting out with just really simple changes. She has me focusing on doing an intake of 20-25, excuse me, 25-30 grams of protein every three hours and she tells me that that will give my body enough building blocks to rebuild my muscles while I’m resting and while I’m fatigued. There’s also some guidelines for before climbing: 25-30 grams of protein along with complex carbs, 2-3 hours before training, BCAA’s and simple carbs 20-30 minutes before training – and BCAA’s is, oh, I forget exactly what it stands for. You can probably tell me, right?

Neely Quinn: Yeah. It’s branched chain amino acids.

Nathaniel Coleman: Thank you very much. Then protein and carbs immediately following training. That’s all I’m kind of working with now.

Neely Quinn: Are you doing that mostly with food or mostly with supplements or how?

Nathaniel Coleman: I’ve been doing it mostly with food, however, I’ve got to admit I haven’t been doing it very well. I’m kind of must missing my eating period and such so I think I’ll start to mix it up and maybe do half with food and half with protein supplements.

Neely Quinn: Are you noticing any difference in your energy levels or performance?

Nathaniel Coleman: It’s been giving me a better focus on how I feel and kind of making me realize that maybe I feel shitty because I ate all this protein 30 minutes before training and my body’s still trying to process it, you know? But I haven’t noticed any gains because I’ve been doing it for maybe a week.

Neely Quinn: Oh, okay. Are you tracking your diet?

Nathaniel Coleman: I am, yeah.

Neely Quinn: What do you use?

Nathaniel Coleman: To track my diet? I use Google Keep. It’s just like a note program. I’ve tried using the MyFitness app by Under Armor and it’s just a little bit too specific for me. I just prefer to write down in a notepad the time, thing that I ate, approximate protein in the thing that I ate.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, it’s way simpler because it can be crazy putting it in a log all the time.

Nathaniel Coleman: Especially when you have a taco that’s got like six things in it, you know?

Neely Quinn: [laughs] Yeah. That’s great that you’re taking it so seriously and that she’s helping you with it. I hope that it helps you.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, thanks. It’s exciting to find something new that I can focus on in my training so it’s been easy to track it because I’m so excited about it. I’m always thinking about it, like: when’s my next protein dose?

Neely Quinn: Do you ever think about your weight?

Nathaniel Coleman: Certainly, yeah. I wish that I was maybe 10 pounds lighter.

Neely Quinn: OMG. How much do you weigh?

Nathaniel Coleman: I weigh 165, generally.

Neely Quinn: That’s pretty lean.

Nathaniel Coleman: [laughs] At my lightest I was doing a lot of outdoor sport climbing and my lightest was 150, although I kind of averaged out at 155.

Neely Quinn: 150? You must have lost a bunch of muscle or not had it yet.

Nathaniel Coleman: I think I did lose a bunch of muscle and it was because I had messed up my ankle. I wasn’t climbing for weeks and after I got it off, I was significantly lighter. It was funny. I told my parents, “Guys, I lost all this weight. I’m climbing great.” They were like, ‘You probably lost the weight because your muscles have atrophied.’

Neely Quinn: Did they notice?

Nathaniel Coleman: They did notice, yeah, and a bunch of people told me, “Wow. Dude, you’re looking really slender.” I felt okay. I didn’t feel like I had lost a significant amount of power. I felt like I was sport climbing greater than I ever had in the past but over the course of months of not focusing on maintaining that weight, I think I regained the muscle mass and I regained the extra fat that I have now.

Neely Quinn: You must be an easy muscle gainer.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, I think I am. When I was 15 I would gain a lot of muscle mass just because of a new training thing that I had been doing at the time, just doing more power-focused workouts. The main thing that I think of is a lat pull-down machine which is essentially another way of doing weighted pull-ups.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, well you know, that’s interesting because training for the Olympics you are going to have to be in tip-top sport shape and bouldering shape so do you think that’s something that you’ll try to incorporate? Losing a little bit of the muscle that you have?

Nathaniel Coleman: Hmm…

Neely Quinn: I bet you could talk to Shannon about that.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah.

Neely Quinn: She’d be like, ‘Umm…it’s hard to do.’ It’s really hard to do.

Nathaniel Coleman: Is it? Maybe I will – I don’t know. I haven’t thought about that.

Neely Quinn: I mean, I’m not saying that you should but it’s just one of those things that comes across people’s minds when they’re thinking about the Olympics and having to train for both things.

Nathaniel Coleman: Right. I look at other competitors and they have so much less muscle mass than me. Well, maybe not so much, just noticeably less, and yet they seem to have just as much power and just as much explosive power and physical strength as I do. It makes me think that maybe I have an overabundance of muscle and maybe I could have less but just use it better and prime it better to be powerful.

Neely Quinn: Yeah, it’s possible. If you do try to do that my one piece of unsolicited advice would be to do it early before you experiment with it in your competition days when you try to qualify. Like, do it now, this year sometime, to see if it works for you.

Nathaniel Coleman: Okay, I’ll take that advice to heart.

Neely Quinn: Then last question is: what kinds of foods do you eat?

Nathaniel Coleman: Well, not to be impressed by my healthiness…

Neely Quinn: You don’t have to divulge this but…

Nathaniel Coleman: I don’t mind, I don’t mind. Let me tell you – I do a lot of eggs. Breads and bagels I find really easy. Bananas, oranges, grapefruits are some of my favorite go-to fruits. Avocados, cereal – I’m a big sucker for cereal. It fills me up, it’s sweet, and I have a really big sugar tooth. I eat more sugar than I would care to divulge. I go out to eat sometimes and when I do I try to steer towards vegetarian options. Not because of any – well, maybe a little bit because of health conscious things but also because they just generally taste better than a chicken sandwich. I don’t know.

I go for fruits because they’re easy to eat. I’m a pretty lazy cook. Occasionally I’ll cook up pasta or spaghetti, you know?

Neely Quinn: With just some sauce?

Nathaniel Coleman: Some sauce, some sausage. Get fancy with it. Mushrooms, my gosh. I’ve learned to saute mushrooms. Incredible. Yeah, nothing very complicated in my diet.

Neely Quinn: What kinds of things do you take with you to eat at comps?

Nathaniel Coleman: Oh, at comps? I won’t eat in isolation before climbing. I’ll generally have a big meal, or not a big meal but just a meal that will sustain me maybe two or three hours before I’ll start warming up. I’ll try to find things I don’t consider to be too heavy or hard to digest so I’ll stay away from a burger. I’ll also stay away from a salad because I feel that won’t keep me full for that entire time but other than that, I just kind of go with whatever is feeling good. A bowl of ramen? I’ll go for it. Fish tacos? Hell yeah. Nothing specific.

Neely Quinn: But actually in iso, nothing.

Nathaniel Coleman: Right, unless I’m feeling really nervous and I feel like taking a bite of a Clif Bar will help me stop focusing on my stomach, you know?

Neely Quinn: Yeah. You get nervous?

Nathaniel Coleman: Sometimes. It varies widely. Sometimes I don’t feel nervous at all and I kind of need to amp myself up and make sure I’m primed and adrenalized and then sometimes I feel like butterflies-in-the-stomach, a little bit nauseous nervous. I think it kind of depends on how much I’ve been thinking about a competition beforehand and that implies how big of a deal I’ll make it in isolation, but I don’t think it’s ever something that really ever holds me back or anything.

Neely Quinn: Yep. Any final words about your climbing? Aspirations or anything?

Nathaniel Coleman: I mean, I’ve talked a lot in this interview about some personal stuff and I just don’t want anybody to think that this is a chore. I love being able to climb professionally and for all the stresses that it brings, I know that I’m living life. I’m living the thing that I love to do the most and I’m just really grateful to be doing that and I’m going to be doing the best that I can for many years to come. That’s about it.

Neely Quinn: That’s respectable. I appreciate that. Thank you very much for your time and for being so open and honest. I really appreciate it.

Nathaniel Coleman: Yeah, it was fun talking to you.

Neely Quinn: Alright. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Nathaniel Coleman. I know I did. I found it really inspirational and just kind of chill to talk to him. He is on Instagram @nathaniel.coleman and he updates pretty regularly if you want to follow his climbing.

Other than that, let’s see what I have coming up on the podcast. Next week is the Fourth of July. I may or may not put a podcast episode out that week.

The next week is the International Climbers’ Festival in Lander so I probably won’t do one then but I am doing a live podcast interview at the festival and I’m also doing the training seminar, or the panel, with Steve Bechtel and all of those guys. Then we’re also doing a clinic at the crag, Matt Pincus and I are doing that, and we’ll have a booth. Please come see us there. It’s a super fun event and Lander is a really fun town to party at so I hope to see you there.

I think that’s all I’ve got for you. Just remember you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook @trainingbeta and then you can always join our training discussion group on Facebook. You can find that at

Thanks for listening all the way to the end and I’ll talk to you soon.



TrainingBeta is a site dedicated to training for rock climbing. We provide resources and information about training for routes, bouldering, finger strength, mental training, nutrition for climbers, and everything in between. We offer climbing training programs, climbing training classes, nutrition classes, regular blog posts, interviews on The TrainingBeta Podcast, personal coaching for climbing, and nutrition for climbers.

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